Tomb Raider: Mythos

Lara Croft sets out to find one thing and stumbles upon something much more interesting.
On the west coast of Eire a myth is about to rise...





Author's note: (I wrote this story for the Gaming Fan Fic comp)"I know the blurb might not be very inviting but I'm still not sure where the story will go, so please bare with me."

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5. Really?

 

Lian Strider.”

The man’s eyes widen. “I’m guessing no one has called you by that name for a long time.” Lara says, all the while keeping her pistols trained on him. His eyes flick to the shattered window. “I am sorry about that but your door isn’t very visitor friendly.” Still he’s silent. Lara looks at him steadily and waits.

After a minute, “Why are you here?”

You tell me.”

Maybe, if you lower those things.” Brown eyes watch him for a moment and the look in them makes him quail inside. “Ok.” Lara agrees suddenly and slips her pistols into their holsters. She moves and sits down on a chair putting her booted feet on the table and crossing them at the ankle. “So?” Her eyebrows rise.

Who do you work for?” He asks.

No one.” “Really?” “Really.” “How do I know you’re not lying?”

You’ll just have to take my word for it.” Lara’s voice is firm. Silence from Lian. Two minutes later, there’s still silence, Lara and Lian regard each other over the table. “Now, I’m a patient woman but neither of us is getting any younger.” Lara leans forward and starts to look at the papers spread across the table. Lian moves as if to stop her but thinks better of it when her hand twitches towards her holster. “You’ve been busy.” The papers are charts of a network of caves and underground rivers, the entrances all appear to be within a fifteen minutes walk the cottage.

Silence again. “Nothing to say?”

Still nothing.

What are you looking for down there?”

Why should I tell you?”

Let’s try a different question.” “Do you know who owns a compound in Iceland?”

The look of complete puzzlement on his face is enough to almost convince her he doesn’t have a clue what she’s talking about.

Look lady, I’ve never even been to Iceland.”

How do I know you’re not lying?” She asks throwing his earlier question back at him.

You’ll just have to take my word for it.” He smirks slightly.

Silence yet again. Then; “What do you think I’m going to do if you tell me what you’re doing down there?”

Who knows?” He sighs, running hand through his hair.

There are plenty of people who don’t want me to find it first.”

So, there is an it?”

He looks at her carefully, his eyes guarded.

Lian, I’m not planning on telling anyone about whatever it is.” “And I happen to be looking for someone else entirely it seems.”

Lara rises and walks to the broken window, looking out into the dark. She turns; arms folded to survey the room.

But it also seems that something more interesting is happening right here.”

Walking back over to the table she holds out a hand.

Lara Croft; archaeologist, explorer and tomb raider.” “I’d be happy to help you with your project.”

He stands slowly and takes her hand. “Lian Strider…” Suddenly his grip tightens and he twists her arm behind her back. Lara kicks straight upwards, her foot swinging up level with her head, Lian swears and lets go as her boot connects solidly with his nose. The tomb raider steps away and turns to look at him, an expression of mild amusement on her face.

You know, I think you should see a councillor about those trust issues.”

You haven’t lived my life.” His voice is muffled behind his hands as he attempts to stem the flow of blood from his nose. Lara sighs and roots in the pocket of her pants, producing a small white cloth she throws it to him.

Lian catches it and hold it to the source of the blood as he tips his head back.

Absently checking her belt is secure she says; “Now get this straight, I am not working for anyone except myself, I have no clue what you are doing here minus that you’re excavating something underground, I happen to be an experienced archaeologist and I know I could help even if you don’t and I do not plan on telling anyone you’d rather not have know about this.”

He looks at her over the top of the flannel.

Do I look like some corporation dog?” Lara spreads her hands.

I suppose not.” He replies taking in her calf high black boots, tight black pants, thigh holsters, pistols, belt with grapple and binoculars, white v-neck top under a dark green jacket, self confident posture and brown hair tied up in a messy pony tail.

Lara raises an eyebrow at him. Lian just closes his eyes for a moment taking a deep breath as he does so. Opening them he says; “Okay, I’ll take you on your word but I’m not telling you what I’m looking for, just that you’ll know it when we find it.”

Fine, I’m going back to my hotel to get some stuff.” She turns to go, then stops and looks over her shoulder. “Don’t go anywhere.”

Lian just looks at her silently.

 

Lara pulls up in the hotel car park. “Yes, I know he could just run off, Zip. But I need to get my rucksack and my laptop and I don’t think he will.” “Okay, you the boss.” “Well, if you two boys want to get over here and carry my stuff around for me you’re more then welcome.” Lara walks through the hotel doors. “No thank you.” “I’m fine here.” Come Alistair and Zip’s voices.

The hotel receptionist, a small woman of middle age with a slightly more then a plump figure, comes trotting up to the tomb raider. “I’m sorry Miss but as I’m sure you are aware, the window of your room is completely without glass, I’m afraid as you’re staying in that room you are responsible for the cost of repair.” Lara looks at the woman for a moment, then says; “Email my associate; ZipIt@hotmail.com and he’ll fix up whatever costs there are with you.” The woman frowns slightly but agrees. Taking the stairs two at a time Lara heads for her room. “What do you want me to give her?” “Just enough for a new window.” The tomb raider hears the tapping of keys as she goes into her room and collects her gear. Rucksack on with her laptop zipped away inside Lara head out, the receptionist all but grins at her and waves goodbye after Lara checks out. “How much did you give her Zip?” She asks as she drives away. “You know, just enough for a new window, just be glad you weren’t on the receiving end the email she sent me.” “Oh you’ll recover.” Lara replies smiling to herself.

It’s well past nine o’clock when Lara reaches the cottage. All is quiet as she walks up to the door; having driven her bike through the hazel thicket. The tomb raider knocks and waits. She can see the light on behind the curtains; the broken window has a blanket pinned to the inside of the frame.

Nothing. Turning the handle she pushes, the door swings open. Hands resting on her pistols she walks silently into the room. The table is bare but everything else is exactly the same, small kitchen counter in the far left corner, a bowl and cup sit next to the sink and a few pieces of fruit. Moving cautiously, she moves to the door in the right wall, it creaks open at her touch. The room is empty except for a single bed and a set of draws. Almost unconsciously she notes that the bed covers are slightly wrinkled clearly slept in last night. The draws reveals a few pairs of clothes, Lian was most lightly coming back then. Back in the kitchen she opens the one other door, a small bathroom, shower, tin sink and toilet. A toothbrush rests on the rim of the sink.

He could still be gone for good.”

I know Zip.” Lara replies turning back into the main room. Feeling slightly hungry and unsure what else to do Lara explores the cupboards. Uncovering a poor selection of cereal and bread she turns to the fridge. Yogurt and fruit make a good snack and the tomb raider doesn’t feel too guilty about eating someone else’s food uninvited, she could always get more food in if Lian decided to ever turn up again.

You’ll want to watch your figure Lara, that’s not low fat.”

Lara laughs. “Zip, you’re one to be talking, you sit all day!”

She’s just raising a spoon full of yoghurt and banana to her mouth when there’s a quiet creak behind her.

 

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